THE CONGRESS on Friday launched a multi-pronged attack on the government on the first anniversary of the Pulwama attack, triggering a war of words between the Opposition party and the ruling BJP. Accusing the government of hiding the investigation report, the Congress asked who has been held accountable for the security lapses.
It also alleged that most of the families of the CRPF personnel who were killed in the attack have not received the promised financial assistance and jobs. “Today, as we remember our 40 CRPF martyrs in the Pulwama attack, let us ask who benefitted the most from the attack? What is the outcome of the inquiry into the attack? Who in the BJP government has yet been held accountable for the security lapses that allowed the attack?” former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said.
While Randeep Surjewala asked why the government was not revealing details of the financial assistance given to families of the slain personnel and why it was hiding the investigation report, party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill, while addressing a press conference, alleged that the government had so far not delivered on promises of financial assistance and jobs made to the families.
“Why has a single rupee from the Bharat ke Veer Fund with a corpus of approximately Rs 250 crore not been utilised to release the funds to the families of the soldiers who gave up their lives in the Pulwama attack. In whose pocket and on whose direction, the Rs 250 crore of Bharat ke Veer fund has gone…If the families of the soldiers are not getting the money under a fund established under the Home Ministry… then who is the recipient….The government should give a proper account on the spending and utilisation of the fund,” Shergill said.
The BJP hit back aggressively, with one of its leaders calling Rahul a known sympathiser of terror outfits Laskhar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said, “When the nation is paying homage to martyrs of Pulwama attack, Rahul Gandhi, a known sympathiser of LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad, chooses to target not just the government but security forces as well. Rahul will never question real culprit Pakistan. Shame on you Rahul!”
Responding to Rahul’s tweet, another BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted: “That (Pulwama) was a dastardly attack. And this is a dastardly comment. Who benefitted the most? Mr Gandhi can you think beyond benefits? Of course not… this so-called “Gandhi” family can never think beyond benefits… not just materialistically corrupt… their souls are also corrupt.”
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said, “Sad that people with this mindset still find relevance in Indian politics. It’s because of such ethos politicians are called vultures. You lost two members from your family at the hands of terrorists, who benefitted from deaths of Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mr Rajiv Gandhi. Apologise.”
Countering the BJP’s attack, Shergill said, “When Narendra Modi held a press conference questioning the government from the attack site of 26/11, he was a nationalist, but when Rahul Gandhi raises questions on Pulwama, he is anti-national? Shun the hypocrisy and stop this ‘use and throw’ policy towards soldiers of this country.”
Shergill also cited the cases of families of three slain CRPF personnel who, he claimed, have not received the promised compensation and jobs so far. He alleged that the BJP was cheating the soldiers and following a use-and-throw policy.
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